Yanmar North American Training Center
Curtain Wall Creates Iconic, Sustainable Design for Yanmar America’s North American Training Center
When Japanese company YANMAR Corporation set out to build its North American training center in a small suburb of Atlanta, its goal was to create more than a traditional office building. YANMAR wanted to tell its story of innovation and sustainability with a multi-purpose facility that would be an expression of its brand. The first phase was to create a training center and exhibition hall that would provide continuing education for YANMAR’s dealerships, employees and customers.
CROFT & Associates, an architecture, engineering and program management firm in Atlanta, Ga., led full design and engineering for the project. Jim Croft, principal and project visionary, and his team designed a facility they felt would express YANMAR’s progressive values with a 35 ft. conical-shaped curtain wall that would serve as the project’s centerpiece.
“This was not just a typical training facility, we wanted it to be an icon for YANMAR’s North American business,” said Butch Birchfield, Vice President of Design at CROFT. “The unique shape and height of the facility were critical to the overall look and feel of the design – and we needed a curtain wall to help us achieve it.”
Birchfield enlisted YKK AP America, a company whose products and reputation he understood. The biggest challenge they faced was creating a tall and dramatic curtain wall without oversizing the structure and having to add structural components, like columns. A secondary challenge was the aggressive timeframe: the team was given a mere 13 months to complete the project.
YKK AP produced shop drawings and custom manufactured a curtain wall using its YCW 750 structural silicone glazed curtain wall, which would allow for a simple, seamless look without a large sightline. The YES 45 and YES 60 thermally broken storefront systems with flexible mullions were incorporated to provide creative freedom for the curved shape of the building. The combination of sustainable, high performance products were meant to ensure optimum energy efficiency and sunlight, allowing for a comfortable space that would glow at night, showing off the YANMAR equipment. Columns were pulled away so the curtain wall could be seen as a transparent backdrop to the product exhibit.
CROFT and YKK AP collaborated closely using Revit 3-D modeling to work through the complex shape of the building. This facilitated the design process, ensuring issues were addressed ahead of time, before could present themselves in the field.
In November 2017, YANMAR opened its doors to the YANMAR America//EVO CENTER. The 50,000 sq. ft. facility includes six product training labs with classroom and hands-on space, three classrooms, office space, multiple meeting rooms, a 250-seat auditorium, the EVO Commons dining area, concept lab, outdoor product demonstration areas and the iconic museum.
CROFT and YKK AP’s collaboration resulted in a unique facility that will provide ongoing education for YANMAR’s customers, dealers, employees and community from around the world. A place to ultimately empower and create a sustainable future.